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edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: April 2013
ISBN:9781443124386

The Blue Hippopotamus

by Phoebe Gilman, illustrated by Joanne Fitzgerald

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ancient civilizations
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $7.99
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: April 2013
ISBN:9781443124386
Description

Now in paperback - Phoebe Gilman and Joanne Fitzgerald's beautiful story about the transformative power of love.

When a little hippo falls in love with an Egyptian princess, he hopes that a great magician can turn him into a human boy. Alas, even the magician can't perform such a feat! Instead, the magician turns him into a toy that the princess can play with - a beautiful blue hippo on wheels.

The princess adores her toy and takes him everywhere with her. But little girls don't play with toys forever. The princess grows up and yearns for a true love. Can the hippo make her wish come true?

Based on a story by Joan Grant, The Blue Hippopotamus was Phoebe Gilman's final book. The illustrations by Joanne Fitzgerald were inspired by sketches Phoebe drew before her death in 2002.

*A Governor General's Award nominee!

About the Authors

Phoebe Gilman

Author profile page >

Joanne Fitzgerald was a very talented illustrator who had a rewarding and prolific career in children's books. She illustrated many well-loved titles, such as The Little Rooster and the Diamond Button (winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award) and Ten Small Tales by Celia Barker Lottridge, and Emily's House by Niko Scharer. She also wrote and illustrated several books, including This is Me and Where I Am.
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Contributor Notes

PHOEBE GILMAN is one of Canada's best-selling author-illustrators. Her books include the Jillian Jiggs series, The Balloon Tree, The Gypsy Princess and the award-winning Something from Nothing. Published posthumously, Jillian Jiggs and the Great Big Snow and her final book, The Blue Hippopotamus, illustrated by Joanne Fitzgerald, are wonderful testaments to the enduring quality of Phoebe's talent.

JOANNE FITZGERALD is the illustrator of many Canadian favourites, including Plain Noodles, Emily's House, Ten Small Tales, Little Rooster and the Diamond Button, Circus Play, and the Governor General's Award-winning Doctor Kiss Says Yes. Joanne Fitzgerald passed away in 2011.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
5 to 8
Grade:
k to 3
Awards
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Award for Children's Literature - Illustration
  • Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Blue Hippopotamus

Based on “The Blue Faience Hippopotamus” by Joan Grant

In the time of Pharoahs lives a young hippopotamus named Hapu. One day, while wallowing in the Nile River, he falls in love with Mery-Am, the Pharoah’s little daughter. To his dismay, she is frightened and runs from him. So begins Hapu’s quest to win her love. He asks a magician to change him into a prince. However, the best that the magician can do is to transform him into a blue hippopotamus toy. The magician also wisely grants Hapu one wish: he can revert back to his original self by reciting “I wish to be a real hippo again.”

The princess admires the little blue hippo, and Hapu becomes her constant companion. Alas, Mery-Am loses interest in her plaything as she grows older. Hapu sadly realizes that she will never truly love him and selflessly uses his one wish to secure her happiness instead of his own. Eventually, in a surprising turn of events, Hapu does find true love and happiness with his cherished Mery-Am.

This moving story of love and friendship was the final story written by the late Phoebe Gilman. She created a memorable character that readers will feel deeply for as they witness Hapu’s poignant dilemma. It is beautifully written... a simple but sensitive metaphor easily understood.

Illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald has clearly done extensive research about ancient Egypt. There is much to savour in her detailed watercolour, gouache and coloured pencil artwork. These depict the customs, architecture and natural world of this civilization with accuracy. The personalities of Hapu, Mery-Am and the magician are congruent with the artist’s depiction of them.

The Blue Hippopotamus will speak to young and old about the reverberating impact of small acts of kindness and selflessness which have the power to change lives.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2008. Vol.31 No.2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Blue Hippopotamus

A young hippopotamus falls in love with an Egyptian princess and begs a magician to change him into “something she could love.” It is through his own selfless act that he is transformed into the princess’s true love.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Reading Lists Featuring “The Blue Hippopotamus”

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edition:Hardcover
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